November 2021 • Edition 3
This edition of Wharton Impact is dedicated to Wharton’s student and alumni veterans. Read how an Air Force veteran is helping students; learn how the School supports MBA students who have served in the military; and discover why an alumnus, who has not served in the military, was inspired to start a fellowship for MBA veteran students.
Alumnus’s Commitment Delivers Boost for
Daniel J. Moore, WG’00, is the president and CEO of Rockefeller Group, a national real estate developer, owner, and operator whose roots can be traced back to the original construction of Rockefeller Center in New York City.
While Moore, a finance and real estate major, holds both a Wharton MBA and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame, it is his military service that informs one of he and his wife Wendy’s strongest commitments to the School — their support of Wharton’s pooled MBA Fellowship Fund for Military Veterans.
Prior to studying at Wharton, Moore served for four years as a civil engineering officer in the U.S. Air Force. Originally assigned to the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord Air Force Base in Washington State, Moore also served on deployments to Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He separated from the Air Force in 1998 with the rank of Captain.
Acknowledging that it is difficult to overstate the influence his time at Wharton had on him personally and professionally, Moore knows firsthand the impact a Wharton experience can have on one’s career and life — particularly for veterans transitioning into civilian life. The Moores were attracted to the pooled MBA Fellowship for Military Veterans Fund because of its immediate impact on today’s students and its potential to increase enrollment of veterans who have been admitted to the School.
“As a student, Wharton broadened my world view to possibilities I had never considered,” Moore said. “It helped me find my professional passion and gave me the tools for success in my first job and beyond. The idea of helping other veterans with the financial lift of a Wharton MBA really resonates with us.”
Supporting Veterans With Education and Community
For those on a journey from the battlefield to the boardroom, the Wharton School helps its MBA student veterans as they transition into the private sector. Active duty personnel also receive tuition benefits and the support of the School as they embark on their studies while remaining in service.
The School assists veterans in ensuring they receive tuition aid that is available from Department of Veterans Affairs programs such as the GI Bill and the Yellow Ribbon Program. Fellowship support and other financial aid options are granted by Wharton as part of admission offers.
Maryellen Reilly, deputy vice dean of the MBA program, said the School is honored to recruit veterans to the program because of what they offer to the Wharton community. She said veterans bring a great breadth of experience across all facets of leadership — and an excitement about the classroom as they look to transition from the military to civilian life, or return to the military with their MBA.
“The diversity of the Wharton community is absolutely enhanced by having veterans in our classes while Wharton is teaching them business skills,” Reilly said. “And they are highly sought after by peers and employers because of their leadership qualities.”
Reilly said the Wharton Veterans Club — whose motto is “united through service” — is the primary place where community building happens among veteran students: “Our veterans come from all branches of service and all sorts of roles. The Wharton Veterans Club provides them a place to have a laugh and to talk about transitioning to civilian life while sharing their experiences with each other and fellow classmates.”
Coinciding with Veterans Day, Vets Week at Wharton is an opportunity for all students to celebrate and learn about what it means to be in the service. There are guest speakers, including alumni, and events that highlight the meaning of military service.
“Our veterans community is legendary among our peer schools for being the best in any MBA program,” said Reilly. “They’re involved with every facet of the School, from admissions to academics through social life and recruiting, and our alumni stay connected.”
The Wharton Fund Supports student veterans. If you are part of the Wharton alumni community and would like access to exclusive benefits offered by the Wharton Veterans Club, please click here for more information.
Giving Back Keeps Veterans
For spouses Sriram Venkataraman, WG’01, and Ilham Zoughi, G’01, WG’01, change is an acceptable constant when embraced as an ongoing, life-enhancing process — and they understand change requires support in order to keep the flow of life moving forward.
By choosing to fund a named fellowship dedicated to military veterans who attend Wharton, Venkataraman and Zoughi are confident they are supporting those who are capable of contributing to business, and to life, in unique ways. The Wharton School recognizes that MBA fellowships give recipients the confidence to enroll at Wharton and the financial flexibility to maximize their MBA experience.
Venkataraman, a partner at Avista Capital Partners, said, “My wife and I believe the veteran-specific focus of our fellowship has lasting value other than helping pay a student’s tuition or bills. Setting up this fund comes from a place of understanding the complexities of change, but also the benefits. I believe those who have served in the military are smart, analytical, team-based, and experienced leaders — all great attributes you want employees to bring into companies and organizations. These veterans are people you want in your workplace.
“Veterans come to Wharton at an inflection point. They may have a fully realized career plan, or they may not, but I am pleased this fellowship can assist them through their career-change shift from a life in service to their next success.”